National WIC Association

18 Health and Medical Organizations Strongly Oppose EPA’s Move to Rollback Protections from Oil and Gas Pollution, Needlessly Endangering Americans’ Health

August 14, 2020

Prepared by the American Lung Association, the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research.

In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that it is finalizing its proposal to weaken methane protections from the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards, the American Lung Association, Allergy & Asthma Network, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, American Thoracic Society, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Center for Climate Change and Health, Children’s Environmental Health Network, Climate for Health, Health Care Without Harm, International Society for Environmental Epidemiology -- North American Chapter, Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, National WIC Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Society for Public Health Education issued the following statement:

"We are deeply troubled by the Administration's decision to weaken protections from methane and other dangerous pollution from oil and gas. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is driving climate change, which makes air pollution worse. Exposure to air pollution from oil and gas development increases the risk of respiratory illness, and as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, swift action must be taken to enhance key public health measures to keep people safe. Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency just gutted critical methane pollution safeguards. 

“At a time when public health and safety should be a priority, EPA has moved to allow more methane pollution and increased emissions of volatile organic compounds, including hazardous air pollutants that are linked to birth defects, asthma attacks, cancer and premature death. Exposure to air pollution can increase susceptibility to respiratory infections. This rollback is both dangerous and irresponsible, and we call on EPA to keep these standards fully in place to limit air pollution and protect public health.”